« ForrigeFortsett »
closcid, the details in regard to the branch at ly without foundation ; and I think you will be
passions of men ; that its daily duty is to deny
With these, the bank disclaims all connec.ion.
comm nity, and will bear a very advantageous other hand, the Government has uniformly and comparison with the boards of similar State in scrupulously forborne from all interference with stitucions.
the concerns of the bank. In regard to the second, the bank has always of tbese views, the recent conduct of the kept itself aloof from all political connection institution may furnish the best illustration. with the Government; and while, in whatever you were desirous of paying off a much larger concerns its appropriate duties, it has yi: Ided amount of debt ihan was ever redeemed at one the most ready and faiihful support to all the period. To the bank regarding merely its pe. officers of the Government, it has, at the sam- cuniary interest, it was more advantageous that time, maintained the most entire independence this sum should not be paid. But every con. of them. Their respective powers and duties sideration of a selfish kind yielded to the strong are assigned to them by the same common au desire to "econd your views for the public ben. thority-the laws of the country. Beyond efit; and the bank, not limiting itself to the these limits, it has never sought nor desired; passive performance of its mere duty, immedinor would it ever have permitied any connec-ately and heartıly co-operated with you, and tion with the Government, or any interference made the utmost exertion to prevent every em. on its part_content with being the friend of barrassment which might have been made the every administration but the partisan of none. pretext of reproach for a measure, the appeIn truth, were the sentiment of personal inde. rent boldness of which is justified by its compendence insufficient, the directors of the plete success. It is a source of much gratificaBank of the United States would find, in the tion to the directors, that those efforts have not very nature of their duties, enough to warn been unobserved by you. But what they have them against the danger of such an influence. done on this occasion, they would do on any It is their especial function to secure the bless other, looking, as they are bound to do, only ings of a wholesome currency, the reward and the to the public interests, by whomsoever they measure of the country's industry, which alone may be administered. In fact, their very ability can preserve the equal value of private property, to serve any administration, would be lost by or give uniformity and security to the public subserviency to it, and the true relation of the revenue; and they know perfectly well, that, bank to the Government, is that of an impartial if their vigilance were relaxed for a single and independent friend, not a partisan. month, the currency would relapse into a con. During the successive changes of administra. fusion, from which some convulsion of the tion, these views have been frankly presented country could alone retrieve it. In accomplish to the Government, who has felt their propriing these objects, it has often been necessary ety. The voluntary declaration contained in to withstand popular clamor; to resist the over. your letter, is a gratififying evidence that the weening pretensions of the State legislatures same sentiment is entertained by the present ad. to oppose the public views, and to thwart the ministration, and that the real nature and inteprivate interests of persons in place, and to re rests of the institution are perfectly understood fuse the solicitations for personal favors of the and appreciated. higbest officers of Government. In these I have the honor to be, anxious and intense responsibilities, their bost
Very respectfully, your's, support is the consciousness of their own inde.
N. BIDDLE, President. pendence, in maintaining their own convictions Hon. $. D. INGUAM, of duty, the foundation alike of their power Secretary of the Treasury, Washinglon: and their usefulness. These would be irre. trievably gone, and with them the whole pur.
(CONFIDENTIAL ) pose for which the bank was established, if the
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, director's ever submitted to any extraneous in.
July 23d, 1829. fluenc-ever suffered themselves to be con Sir: I have received your favor of the 18th, trolled in the perfectly free choice of their own in reply to mine of the 11th instant. In fram. agents, or could so far forget their duty as to ing my letter, I endeavored to avoid the sligbt. delegate the important trusts confided to their est imputation against the directors of the pacare tc incompetent persons, because they were rent bank for having used their power with a the supporters or the opponents of any politi- view to political effect; but, as this topic was cal administration.
even remotely brought to the notice of the de. The footing, therefore, on which the inter. partment, there was no alternative between a course between the bank and the Government silence that might have been deemed signifi
. has always been distinctly placed the only cant, and such an avowal of the views of the safe basis for the country, ihe Government, or administration on that subject as could not fairly the bank-is simply this: The bank has given be misunderstood. The latter course was adoptthe most cordial and decided co-operation in alled, and I am much gratified to find so an entire tbe financial operations of the Government; it concurrence in our opinions as to the principle bas taken especial care, as a point equally of which ought to govern in the administration of duty and of delicacy, ibat none of its agents the affairs of the bank. When principles are shruld abuse their trust, by injustice towards thus cordially settled, there is much reason to the existing administration or its trends, being expect that any material error of practice will, aliás ready to apply the most decisive relief in time, be properly corrected; and there can against such a perversion of its power. On the bo no boube that, while the action of the God
vernment upon the bank, and that of the bank self compelled, by additional considerations,
Your obedient servant,
S. D. INGHAM,
Secretary of the Treasury.
BANK OF THE UNITED STATES,
4th August, 1829.
of the board with the fullest confidence; nor Mr. Biddle will proceed across the country
I am, with 'great respect, Sir, pursuits of life, refuse to yield their bonest con
Your obedient servant, victions to party prejudices, a few hundred of
T. CADW'ALLADER, our countrymen, carefully selected from the
Acting President. most independent, intelligent, and uprigh, J. Mason, Esq. should be found sufficiently honest to prefer Pres't Off. B. U. S. Portsmouth, N. H. their duty to their party. If, however, it can be shown that, in any
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, quarter, the officers of the bank have lent
August 5, 1829. themselves as ministers of a party, or have used SIR: I duly received your favor of the 27th the power of the corporation to political pur- ultimo, and have this day received that of the poses, not a moment will be lost in visiting 4th instant, on the same subject, written, as you such offences with the utmost severity of cen-inform mr, under the special instructions of the sure and punishment.
board of directors. Io reply, I have to observe With regard to the Portsmouth business, it that, perceiving nothing in the emphatic repewas immediately put into a train of investiga-tition of the sentiments contained in Mr. Bidtion, and the presiding officer of the bank, as dle's letter of the 18th of July, or in what you you have been apprised, is to proceed thither have urged in their support, to change in any on that duty.
degree the views heretofore presented, I find no In the mean time, you will, it is hoped, upon occasion to add to what has been said in my letreflection, be disposed to admit that the indivi- ters of the 11th and 23d of July, except to redual whose conduct is in question, may fairly mark, that, when called upon to discharge a claim from the directors of this bank, by whom high public duty, I cannot allow myself to estihe was invited into its service, on account sole- mate the extent of the obligation by any sup-' ly of business qualifications of the highest or posed ungraciousness of the topics with which der, without remotest reference to his political it may be connected. sentiments, and who have in their possession I am, Sir, very respectfully, striking evidence of the intelligence, impartia.
Your obedient servant, lity, zeal, and fidelity, with which he appears
S. D. INGHAM to have administered the interests of the insti T. CADWALLADER, Esq. tutioil, probably at some sacrifice of his own,
Acting President Bank U. S. the common privilege of every man accused that of being deemed innocent until he has been
BANE OF THE U. STATES, proved guilty.
September 15, 1829.
Sir: On my return, a few days since, after a
long absence, I found your favors of the 23d of
of July and 5th ult. These have been already
acknowledged, and, as far as was then deemed
necessary, answered by General Cadwallader; Hon. SAML. D. INGHAM,
but the views wich they present of the relaSecretary of the Treasury.
tions between the bank and the treasury, are so P.9. In a letter just received from Mr. Ma- new and important, and it is so essential to the son, who has learned, from sources exterior to public service to understand distinctly their rethe bank, that a memurial and numerous letters spective rights and duties, that it is deemed have been addressed to the directors, com proper to resume the subject without delay. plaining of his official conduct, he invites im. Such is the purpose of this communication, in mediate inquiry, and requests to be informed of which I shall endeavor to collect from your the facts stated, and by whom, that he may be whole correspondence with the bank the points enabled to repel them. The board will, of on wh ch we have the misfortune to differ, and course, proceed to investigate the subject as then attempt to compare, and, perhaps, recon• soon as possible; and should the allegations a- cile, our opinions. gainst him appear to be well founded, to apply The earliest operation of the Treasury, since at once, as you have been already assured an you were charged with it, in which the bank appropriate corrective.
had any share, was the reimbursement of the
public debt on the 1st of July last. This was BANK OF THE U. STATES, your first essa in the department, the first im
4th August, 1829. portalit measure of the new administration, and, SIB: Your letter of the 31st ult. has been if it had occasioned any inconvenience, or any read at the board, and referred to the Commit. pressure, these would certainly have been made tee on the Offices.
the cause or the pretext of great reproach The president of the bank is now on his way against yourself and your political associates; to Buffalo, in the State of New York. On his and undoubtedly much inconvenience and much return he is to visit Portsmouth, when you will pressure would have been telt if the bank had receive from him every explanation in regard not labored to avert them, with a promptness, a to the matter adverted to in the latter part of cordiality, and an efficacy, rare even in its own your letter.
active history. Before determining on
messu.e, you did the board the honor to consul che opinion, that here were certain other duthem, and certainly if they had listened to co ries to the G Vernment which it was your spesiderations merely pecuniary, they would have cial function to superintend. Accordingly, on discouraged it; if they had desired to shun t..e the 11th of June last, you addressed to the bank responsibility of an operacion, of which the re- la letter covering one from Mr. Woodbury, re. suli might be uoubtful, they would have bee questing your interference to cause the removal silent; ant, if it har been possible for them to of Mr. Mason, the president of the branch at feil any reluctance to aid the new administra Portsmouth. The complaint first in order, and ti n, i would have been sufficient merely, and obviously fir-t in importance, was that Mr. Ma. irreuriachably, to have done their duty. But son was a particular friend of Mr. Webster, and regarding only what theyconsidered the enlarg. thut bis political charac er was doubtless well ed interest of the country, and too conscious of known to you, whence you vere led to infer their own independ nce to tear that their zeal that he had perverted his trust to political pur. in the public service should be mistaken for a poses. Your 1 tler was inmediately followed devotion to the public servants, they at once by the communication of one subscribed, " Isaac assumed all the responsibility within their pro- Hill, Sec nd Comptroller of the Treasury," per sphere, of encouraging the operation, and transmitting two memorials, One of them was from the commencement to the termination, said to be from "most of the business men and Watched and guarded its progress with an un- merchants of Portsmouth, without distinction wearied attention which the most zealous friend of pariy;" the other he described as coming of the administration could not have surpassed. from "about sixty of the most respectable To these efforts you have yourself boine the members of the New Hampshire Legislature," ample st testimony. Thus, in your letter of the requesting Mr. Mason's removal, and, more. 6th of June, you bave the goodness to say, “ I over, nominating a new board of directors. To am fully sensible of the disposition of the bank these, the Second Comptroller adds his own to afford all practicable facility to the fiscal opinion, that "no measure short of vir. Mason's operations of the Government, and the offers removal will tend to reconcile the people of contained in your letters with that view are New Hampshire to the bank," and that this duly appreciated. As you have expressed the measure is ask-d for by individuals whom he willingness of the bank to make the funds of Ciaracterizes as "the friends of General Jack. the Treasury immediately available at the vari- son in New Hampshire." In answer to your ous points where they may be required for the letter, you were apprised tha: the complain s of approacbing payment of the debt, the drafts Mr. Woodbury would be duly examined, and for effecting the transfers for that object will that the bank had uniformly, and, it was believ. be made to suit the convenience of the bank as eu, successfully, enjeavored to prevent the far a the demands of other branches of the ser abuse of its power to party purposes Your revice will permit.” On the 19th of June you ply of the 23 of July treats this «Semplion write: "I cannot conclude this communication from politica, bias, as a moral impossibility: without expressing the satisfaction of the de- and, in allusion to a suggestion that the bank partment at the arrang ments which the bank was disinclined to the inte fer-nce of the Gohas made for effecting these payments in a man vernment in these matters, you declare that ner so accominodating to the Treasury, and so it is not deemed transcending the just obligalittle embarrassing to the community
tion of be department to which is assigned ihe again, unibe Ilih of July: "I take the occa- direction of the relitions between the Guvern. sion to express the great - satisfaction of inement and the bank, to suggest its views as to Treasury Department at the manner in which their proper management” You speak of the the president and directors of the parent bank " action of the Government on the bank, and have discharged their frusts in all their imme- that of the hank on those within the sphere of diate relations to the Government, so far as its influence,” and finally, you remove the intheir transactions have come under my notice, pression that these were only your private senand especially in the facilities afforded in transiments of which the friendly purpose might ferring the funds of the Government, and in the justify the communication, by stating that your preparation for the heavy payment of the public first letter contained “such an ayowal of tie debt on the 1st inst., wirich has been effected views of the administration, as could not sairly by means of the prudeut arrangements of your be misunderstood." board, at a time of severe depressio', on all the On recurring to these views, which now asproductive employments of the country, with sumed additional importance, they exhibiied out causing any sensible aduition to the pres. very strong and v'ry satisfactory declarations of istire, or even visible effect upon the ordinary the unwillingness of the adıninistration to de. operations of the State baliks."
rive polical aid from the bank, and very jadi1 recall these voluntary testimonials to your cious rem rks on the principles of credit which remembrance, because they show that, in all 15 should regulate its loans But the mode of seSegitimate relations to the Government, the curing these objects, though recominen.sed
vas completely 'filled the measure of its with the best motives, seemed ili adapted to duty to the country, and that towards yoursell ustain thein. It was, tint it was the “ very and your political colleagues, there existed the i.igh obligarion of the pa k to initud:ce into most friendly dispos tion on the part of the bank. the r.11 ,- meni of its offic.rs, such ch.cks and Unfortunately, however, you seemed to adop counterbalances as may be necessary to main